We live in Mason, Michigan, a small town just outside of Lansing, the capital of Michigan. We have lived in several places since we met, including Little Rock, Arkansas, and Washington, DC. Our last home was in Austin, Texas, and Elayne still misses Texas dearly.
Lansing has the distinction of being the only state capital in the country that is not also the local county seat. Here, the Ingham county seat is in Mason, so we get to enjoy the beauty of a small-town county seat, with the old courthouse on the square.
We’re still learning our way around Michigan, although it gets easier every year. Living here up north is a completely different experience from life in sunny Texas. For one thing, we’ve been told that Michigan is the cloudiest state in the country; although Elayne’s research has proven that claim false, it is still a swamp, and very damp and rainy most of the time. We get plenty of snow in the winter, and Elayne still hasn’t learned how not to go into hibernation mode at the first sight of a snowflake. Even in the summer, temps can be quite chilly!
There are definitely some beautiful upsides to living in Michigan, though. The cycle of the year is so much more apparent here, with very distinct seasons. It’s exciting to watch the world go from white to seeing little green things popping up out of the ground, to watch the geese and swans which flew south in droves come back in pairs to nest again, to see all the great multitude of flowering things break open when spring finally arrives. We’ve never seen so much color before!
Fall is great, too. Michigan is farming country, and just about anything and everything is grown up here except citrus. There are many pick-your-own farms around, and we have found regular places to pick strawberries, blueberries, and apples. There’s nothing like the taste of fruit freshly picked and still warm from the sun! Elayne has always hoped to get a garden of her own in…when she has time….and in 2009 we finally managed it, planting a vegetable garden in some scrap tires around the playset.
Mason is a good location for us. It is small and quiet, but only 15 minutes away from the best downtown Lansing has to offer, and about an hour away from the big city of Detroit. Michigan has casino gambling, and we’re about an hour away from at least four different casinos with blackjack and poker tables. Within Mason itself, Brian is getting the great independence of having everything is within walking distance! The bookstore, the hardware store, the video store, McDonald’s, the Deli, nice restaurants, a grocery store…even a neighborhood brewery! Brian is able to take the kids out by himself and do just about anything, and even in the dead of winter, the walk is short enough that he will brave the cold occasionally to go to the downtown bar or just fetch something he wanted.
Although there is truly no place like home, for now, Mason is the next best thing.